How Much Does a Retaining Wall Cost?

Whether you’re a homeowner trying to build a retaining wall to improve your property’s aesthetic or just a landscaping enthusiast who wants to do some DIY project, you probably need to know about the prices of retaining wall materials and how much building a retaining wall costs.

Retaining walls are crucial in landscaping, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits. They prevent soil erosion and control elevation changes. They also create usable space on a sloped property and enhance the visual appeal of your outdoor area. They provide many benefits that can entice you to have one for your property. However, building a retaining wall can be pricey. You need to consider a lot of factors, such as:

  • intricate designs
  • labour costs of retaining wall builders
  • material costs
  • site conditions
  • maintenance costs

That’s why understanding the cost of a retaining wall will help you budget wisely in this landscaping endeavour.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors influencing the cost and provide you with insights to help you make informed decisions for your landscaping project.

What is a Retaining Wall?

What is Retaining Wall

A retaining wall is a sturdy structure designed to prevent the downward movement or shifting of soil (along with other materials like stones). These walls are useful for creating terraced levels in landscaping or preventing soil encroachment on roads or footpaths. They’re especially important when soil has been piled up or if part of a sloped area has been dug up and the leftover soil needs to be supported to prevent erosion.

Benefits of Retaining Walls

Benefits of Retaining Wall

Retaining walls keep soil or other materials in place and support them at different heights. They are used in many gardening and civil engineering projects for different reasons.

They have many benefits, such as:

Erosion Control

The primary role of a retaining wall is to prevent soil erosion on sloped terrain. Ground and soil composition vary greatly depending on the area. Having a retaining wall stabilises the soil, preventing the downhill movement of dirt, rocks, or other materials induced by gravity and thus safeguarding the landscape from potential harm.

Enhanced Aesthetics

Well-designed retaining walls can add aesthetic appeal to outdoor spaces, contributing to a property’s overall look and feel.

Grading and Terracing

Retaining walls are instrumental in crafting terraced landscapes on steep slopes. Constructing multiple walls at various levels facilitates the creation of flat or gently sloping areas suitable for gardening, outdoor living spaces, or improved accessibility.

Maximising Usable Space

Uneven terrains can be transformed into usable surfaces by constructing retaining walls. These walls enable homeowners to convert sloping or steep landscapes into functional spaces for gardens, patios, walks, and driveways.

Protecting Structures and Property

Retaining walls prevent dirt and debris from washing away houses, roads, and other structures. Having retaining walls to help manage water flow and minimise damage is especially important in places prone to floods or heavy rain.

Factors Influencing Retaining Wall Costs

Cost of Retaining Wall

Material Choice

The type of material you choose significantly impacts the cost of your retaining wall. Common retaining wall materials include timber, concrete, brick, and stone.

Each material has its own pros and cons, affecting aesthetics and durability. Timber is often more budget-friendly, while concrete bricks and stone are durable but can be pricier.

Height and Length

The size of your retaining wall, specifically its height and length, plays a crucial role in determining retaining wall cost. Higher and longer walls typically require more materials and engineering considerations, leading to increased expenses.

Understanding the specific requirements for your project will help you estimate the overall cost accurately.

Design and Complexity

The design and complexity of the retaining wall also contribute to the overall cost. Intricate designs or those requiring additional engineering for stability may incur higher expenses. Simple, straight retaining walls cost less and are generally more cost-effective than curved or tiered designs.

Site Accessibility

The ease of access to your construction site can impact costs. If the site is challenging to reach, it may require additional labour and equipment, inevitably increasing labour costs and overall expenses. Consider the logistics of your location when estimating the cost of your retaining wall.

Drainage Considerations

Proper drainage is essential for the longevity of your retaining wall. Incorporating drainage solutions, such as weep holes or drainage pipes, may add to the overall cost but is crucial for preventing water-related issues that could compromise the structural integrity over time.


Retaining wall costs can also vary per location. City retaining wall cost can differ in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane. Do your research to ensure you’re getting the best quote possible in your area.

Cost Estimates for Different Materials

1. Timber

Timber retaining walls are generally more affordable, with costs ranging from $250 to $500 per square metre. However, they may require more maintenance over time.

  • Treated Timber Sleepers or Hardwood Retaining WallTimber sleepers and hardwood offer a natural and attractive look. They are more durable than treated pine, enduring various weather conditions, making them popular for both residential and commercial uses. Their prices range from $300 to $450 per square metre.
  • Treated Pine Retaining WallTreated pine is a budget-friendly choice for smaller or simpler projects. While it has a decent lifespan, keep in mind that it may require additional maintenance over time. Costs typically fall between $250 and $350 per square metre.

2. Concrete

Concrete retaining walls are durable and have a broader price range, typically costing between $300 and $800 per square metre. The cost of concrete blocks varies based on factors such as the finish, design, and reinforcement requirements.

  • Reinforced Concrete Blocks Retaining WallReinforced concrete blocks are durable and suitable for larger or more complex applications. The reinforcement adds strength, ensuring stability and a longer lifespan. They are typically priced between $400 and $680 per square metre.
  • Concrete Sleeper Retaining WallsWhen you build your retaining walls with concrete sleepers, you can be certain that they will be strong and long-lasting.Concrete sleepers are known for their exceptional resistance to insects, rotting, splitting, splintering, and warping. These blocks are perfect for use as vertical boundary walls or retainer walls. If you choose a concrete sleeper retaining wall, you can expect to pay $450 to $700 per square metre.

3. Brick and Stone

Brick and stone retaining walls are aesthetically pleasing but can be more expensive, ranging from $500 to $1,500 per square metre, depending on the material and design complexity.

  • Sandstone Block Retaining WallSandstone blocks have a luxurious and visually appealing appearance, enhancing the beauty of your landscaping. Prices vary based on the quality and location of the sandstone. Their prices range from $300 to $550 per square metre.
  • Concrete Besser Blocks Retaining WallBesser or breeze blocks offer a modern and flexible retaining wall solution. Known for their durability, they can be a cost-effective choice for contemporary designs. The price per square metre varies from $550 to $700.

Looking for a quote for your retaining wall project?

Whether you’re looking to build concrete sleeper retaining walls or just want the cheapest retaining wall possible, you really have to consider the labour and material costs. You also have to find retaining wall builders that you can trust.

In general, retaining walls can range from around $1,000 for small ones to over $10,000 for larger ones.

As a general rule of thumb, timber retaining walls are more affordable, but their structural integrity and lifespan are limited. For a longer-lasting solution, consider treated hardwood, concrete, brick, or stone, even though they come at a higher overall cost, especially for concrete retaining walls.

When planning a retaining wall project, it’s essential to consider various factors that influence the overall cost. Consulting with a professional landscaper or structural engineer can further help you refine your estimates and ensure the success of your retaining wall project.

If you’re looking for an accurate retaining wall quote, you can explore our retaining wall projects for inspiration. At TW Mini Excavations, we take pride in being a reliable retaining wall builder, and we’re delighted to witness the impressive outcomes clients achieve with our retaining wall job.

Ready for a quote on your next project? Get in touch with us today at 0432 065 070.

    Get In Touch With Us At TW Mini Excavations Today

    © 2023 TW Mini Excavations
    ABN: 25 313 233 228

    Contact Us